Fed Chairman Doing Better, But the US Economy Isn't

A new CNBC survey of Wall Street professionals Wednesday shows a slight increase in the approval rating of Ben Bernanke's overall performance as Federal Reserve chairman, but waning faith in the strength of the economy.


Based on the views of the 39 money managers, investment strategists and professional economists responding to CNBC's "Trillion Dollar Snap Survey" today, Bernanke earned an overall weighted-average grade of 82.7 percent or "B" — a slight improvement from the 81.4 percent, or "B-" grade, he received in January.

However, respondents felt somewhat worse about the U.S. economy, saying the probability of a U.S. recession in 2008 has increased from 47.25 percent in the January survey to 48.25 percent today.

Respondents also felt the Fed is too worried about slowing growth, in sharp contrast to sentiment in an August survey in which respondents felt the Fed was too worried about rising inflation.

Despite respondents' less than positive outlook, a full 61 percent felt the stock market would move higher over the next three months, though some said it could retest January lows before doing so. They were not, however, quite as optimistic about a recovery in the housing market; 78 percent said a recovery would not begin until the fall or later.